A historic facility that today, thanks to a careful preservation and renovation project, enjoys a contemporary feel in terms of comfort and functionality – necessary for a club back in Serie A – without losing its original imprint and recognisability.
Inaugurated in 1919, Cremona’s Stadio Zini is one of the historic venues of Italian football, and of that provincial football scene that has alternated between decades of oblivion and moments of sudden and resounding rise to the forefront of Serie A.
The GAU Arena intervention, aimed at the re-functionalisation of several specific areas of the stadium, is the latest act in the football club’s medium-term vision.
Having to intervene on a building that is also a listed historical asset, the example of the Zini Stadium shows itself to be a very important case-study for that panorama of small to medium-sized Italian sports facilities that make up a large part of the national football heritage, but which are often even more difficult to improve due to the lack of economic funds in provincial realities.
While GAU Arena is proving to be an architectural studio sensitive to precisely these realities, the restyling carried out at the Zini in Cremona shows us how the comfort needs of contemporary sport can be combined with a structure that is only apparently rigid and unchanging, in particular by making better use of the external and internal square footage and having an important focus on inclusion, with areas, services and paths adapted for people with disabilities.
All these interventions have been accompanied by the preservation and conservation of the elements of the building’s historical architectural value, preserving the structural parts of the grandstand, which, indeed, has been restored in some of its original aesthetic portions, only demolishing any additions made after 1929.